Healthy competition goes hand in hand with collaboration
The four-point proposal placed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the India Economic Summit in New Delhi makes perfect sense, and indeed South Asia stands to become stronger, more connected, and more peaceful by taking note.
The region of South Asia is one of tremendous diversity, and our linguistic, religious, and ethnic diversity makes us all stronger, not weaker -- for this reason, it is of the utmost importance to move beyond any kind of communal narrow-mindedness and embrace our pluralism.
Regrettably, in recent times we have seen fundamentalism raise its ugly head, both home and abroad, and such forces must be nipped in the bud to ensure peace; because without peace there can be no regional stability.
The issue of equality and inclusivity is one that certainly needs more attention than it has received in recent times. Although Bangladesh’s economy has grown admirably, much of it has been jobless growth; so the PM is right to say wealth creation should be inclusive.
It is not enough for the rich to make more money, but the poor must be lifted out of poverty, and opportunities should exist for all communities and individuals.
Trust and amity between countries in South Asia are sorely lacking, and in this regard, much work is also needed.
Asean sets a good example by fostering strong ties between member-states, and there is no reason South Asian countries should not be able to unite in a fruitful way.
Just like our private sector has shown, healthy competition goes hand in hand with collaboration, and that same principle can be applied to our relationship with other countries in the region. The situation would be a win-win.